Home Bread-Bakers v006.n022.5

Hockey pucks

"E. S. Chan" <eugenes@iiu.my>
Wed, 24 May 1995 13:14:37 +0800 (MYT)
> From: marym@mpd.tandem.com (Mary Matejka)
> I recently bought a Hitachi 103B bread machine. It is one of those
> whose directions call for ice water. I followed directions and
> got hocky pucks.

	My old Panasonic said to cool down everything, but I would get
	inconsistent results (h.p.'s). I gave up and just used everything
	at whatever temperature and I'm in Malaysia where it's 90 F every
	day. It didn't seem to affect the results, in that once in a while
	I get a compact loaf, but usually the loaves are at least to the
	top of the pan, and often way over.

	I find that the difference is in the (1) yeast quality, (2) yeast 
	quantity, (3) right amount of water, and (4) dough conditioner 
	additive.  I get the most inconsistent loaves when I change yeast
	brands or it comes from a different batch. I was lucky and purchased
	some very effective powdered yeast in bulk and it always gives good
	loaves. I've stored it in airtight jars at room temperature for 9
	months and it is still OK. I use 1/2 - 1/4 more than the recommended
	amount. Yes, slightly more water seems to be better than not enough,
	but you really have to be careful because it's easy to add too much.
	Do it spoon by spoon if you're not sure, and watch the dough to 
 	make sure it doesn't get runny. The bakery goods shops here sell
	an unbranded "dough conditioner" that helps the elasticity and
	refines the bread. It's a white powder that looks like cornstarch. 
	I use an amount equal to the recommended amount of yeast. The amazing
	thing is that with common plain white flour I get pretty good bread.
	However, because the conditioner makes the holes very tiny, some
	people who are used to naturally tougher bread might not like the 
	spongy texture.  

		Hope this helps,	Gene Chan, Malaysia